Vine Street Expressway

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Reconstructing Philadelphia’s Vine Street – a major at-grade artery with lights and bottlenecks at every intersection – into I-676, a limited-access highway, posed formidable challenges to the engineering team lead by Michael Baker. Cutting a swath 26 feet below a busy city while maintaining traffic for pedestrians and 80,000 vehicles per day was a complex design and construction effort that involved:

  • Extensive community participation
  • Fast-track design of 17 bridges, 41 retaining walls and ancillary structures
  • Relocating a maze of underground utilities
  • Threading the expressway under Broad and Vine, Pennsylvania’s busiest intersection, through a subway mezzanine and above an operating subway
  • Excavating 1.1 million cubic yards of earth

Michael Baker managed the multi-firm team responsible for the final design of roadways and structures, relocation of underground utilities, traffic engineering, construction engineering, environmental mitigation and landscaping.

The newly-designed I-676 is a critical east-west arterial route through Center City that features four depressed lanes for high-speed traffic, six local lanes and 17 cross-street bridges. Award-winning landscaping, decorative noise walls and other “good neighbor” elements enhance the visual appeal of the urban expressway.

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Impact

“This was one of the City’s most significant and impactful urban public works projects in a century. The $225 million, seven-year effort provided much needed relief for one of Pennsylvania’s most congested highway corridors.”

Robert Eck (Ret.)
Project Manager

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